Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Review #2- Steal a sentence

Coincidence?  Student of the Month Kayla Goffinet is in AP Language? Congrats!

HW:  Review #2

  • 150 Word minimum
  • Let's focus on some more detail- perhaps sensory/imagery (depending on the target)
  • Switch from +/- or -/+
  • In class today, you marked * for several clever sentences.  I want you use one of those sentences in your review- keep the frame and use your own words
  • Continue to add diversity in your syntax

Monday, September 29, 2014

Review This?!

  1. What do you see?
  2. What do you hear?
  3. How do you describe the events of this performance from start to finish?
  4. What extended metaphor might capture the feel of this performance?

There may not be much difference
Between Chairman Mao and Richard Nixon
If we strip them naked
There may not be much difference
Between Marilyn Monroe and Lenny Bruce
If we check their coffins

There may not be much difference
Between White House and Hall of People
If we count their windows
There may not be much difference
Between Raquel Welsh and Jerry Rubin
If we hear their heartbeat

We're all water from different rivers
That's why it's so easy to meet
We're all water in this vast, vast ocean
Someday we'll evaporate together

There may not be much difference
Between Eldridge Cleaver and Queen of England
If we bottle their tears
There may not be much difference
Between Manson and the Pope
If we press their smile

There may not be much difference
Between Rockefeller and you
If we hear you sing
There may not be much difference
Between you and me
If we show our dreams

We're all water from different rivers
That's why it's so easy to meet
We're all water in this vast, vast ocean
Someday we'll evaporate together

What's the difference?
What's the difference?
There's no difference
There's no difference
What's the difference?
What's the difference?

HW:  Write a brief original review of a media product of your choice:

  • Target should elicit a passionate response (+or-)
  • 150 Word Minimum 
  • Tilt with tone (adjectives and verbs of connotation)
  • Avoid personal attacks on creator

Friday, September 26, 2014

Fabulous return of Film Friday!

From Manohla Dargis's review of upcoming film Gone Girl
Unspooling is such an inapt word — can brains, after all, be unspooled? — that it immediately puts dread in check. No matter how brutal the images generated by these words, surely there’s more in store than blunt-force entertainment. Well, yes and no, which is sometimes the case with Mr. Fincher. One of those filmmakers whose technical prowess can make the mediocrity of his material seem irrelevant (almost), Mr. Fincher is always the star of his work. His art can overwhelm characters and their stories to the point that they fade away, leaving you with meticulous staging and framing, and edits as sharp as blades. It’s no accident that the first time you fully see Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck), the man who had been discoursing so vividly about his wife’s head, he’s alone...
Mr. Fincher’s compositions, camera work and cutting are, as always, superbly controlled. Working again with the cinematographer Jeff Cronenweth and the production designer Donald Graham Burt, he fashions an ever more haunted, haunting world that wavers so violently between ordinariness and aberration that, as in his other movies, the two soon blur.  

Visual Literacy by V. Deane

HW: Bring in a print copy of each of the following:

  • An extremely negative professional review 
  • An gushing positive review.

 (musicfilmtelevisionfoodvideo gamesbooks, etc.)
AV Club has sharp reviews as well...Movies, Music, TV, Books,

Monday, September 22, 2014

Brilliant Gender Equality Speech by Emma Watson

Rhetorically hitting on all cylinders- Transcript provided by Rappler.com:

Today we are launching a campaign HeForShe. I am reaching out to you because we need your help. We must try to mobilize as many men and boys as possible to be advocates for change. We don’t just want to talk about it. We want to try and make sure it’s tangible. I was appointed as Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women 6 months ago.
The more I spoke about feminism, the more I realized that fighting for women’s rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating. If there is one thing I know for certain is that this has to stop. For the record, feminism by definition is the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. It is the theory of political, economic and social equality of the sexes.
When I was 8, I was called bossy because I wanted to direct a play we would put on for our parents. When at 14, I started to be sexualized by certain elements of the media. At 15, my girlfriends started dropping out of sports teams because they didn’t want to appear masculine. At 18, my male friends were unable to express their feelings.
I decided that I was a feminist. This seemed uncomplicated to me. But my recent research has shown me that feminism has become an unpopular word. Women are choosing not to identify as feminists. Apparently, [women’s expression is] seen as too strong, too aggressive, isolating, and anti-men, unattractive even.
Why has the word become such an uncomfortable one? I think it is right I am paid the same as my male counterparts. I think it is right that I should be able to make decisions about my own body. I think it is right that women be involved on my behalf in the policies and decisions that will affect my life. I think it is right that socially, I am afforded the same respect as men.
But sadly, I can say that there is no one country in the world where all women can expect to see these rights. No country in the world can yet say that they achieved gender equality. These rights are considered to be human rights but I am one of the lucky ones.
My life is a sheer privilege because my parents didn’t love me less because I was born a daughter. My school did not limit me because I was a girl. My mentors didn't assume that I would go less far because I might give birth to a child one day. These influences are the gender equality ambassadors that made me who I am today. They may not know it but they are the inadvertent feminists needed in the world today. We need more of those.
If you still hate the word, it is not the word that is important. It is the idea and the ambition behind it because not all women have received the same rights I have. In fact, statistically, very few have.
In 1997, Hillary Clinton made a famous speech in Beijing about women’s rights. Sadly, many of the things that she wanted to change are still true today. What struck me the most was that less than 30% of the audience were male. How can we effect change in the world when only half of it is invited or being welcomed to participate in the conversation?
Men, I would like to give this opportunity to extend your formal invitation. Gender equality is your issue, too. Because to date, I’ve seen my father’s role as a parent being valued less by society. I’ve seen young men suffering from mental illness, unable to ask for help for fear it would make them less of a man. In fact, in the UK, suicide is the biggest killer of men between 20 to 49, eclipsing road accidents, cancer and heart disease. I’ve seen men fragile and insecure by what constitutes male success. Men don’t have the benefits of equality, either.
We don’t often talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes but I can see that they are. When they are free, things will change for women as a natural consequence. If men don’t have to be aggressive in order to be accepted, women won’t feel compelled to be submissive. If men don’t have to control, women won’t have to be controlled.
Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong. It is time that we all see gender as a spectrum instead of two sets of opposing ideals. We should stop defining each other by what we are not and start defining ourselves by who we are. We can all be freer and this is what HeForShe is about. It’s about freedom. I want men to take up this mantle so that their daughters, sisters and mothers can be free from prejudice but also so that their sons have permission to be vulnerable and human too, reclaim parts of themselves they abandoned and in doing so, be a more true and complete version of themselves.
You might think: who is this Harry Potter girl? What is she doing at the UN? I’ve been asking myself the same thing. All I know is that I care about this problem and I want to make it better. And having seen what I’ve seen and given the chance, I feel it is my responsibility to say something. Statesman Edmund Burke said all that is need for the forces of evil to triumph is for good men and women to do nothing.
In my nervousness for this speech and in my moments of doubt, I told myself firmly: if not me, who? If not now, when? If you cast doubts when opportunity is presented to you, I hope those words will be helpful. Because the reality is if we do nothing, it will take 75 years or maybe 100 before women can expect to be paid the same as men for the same work. 15.5 million girls will be married in the next 16 years as children. And at current rates, it won't be until 2086 before all rural African girls can have a secondary education.
If you believe in equality, you might be one of the inadvertent feminists I spoke of earlier and for this I appraud you. We must strive for a united world but the good news is we have a platform. It is called HeForShe. I invite you to step forward, to be seen and I ask yourself: if not me, who? If not now, when? Thank you.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Emerson Annotation for Monday

Ok- Let's read some Emerson over the weekend.  What to look for:

Check out this great writing from a review of A Walk Among the Tombstones by Manohla Dargis:
Nasty, brutal and unforgiving, “A Walk Among the Tombstones” is one of those rare contemporary cinematic offerings: intelligent pulp. It was written and directed by Scott Frank, a script writer whose credits include “Get Shorty” and “Minority Report,” which means that he’s spent time transposing the likes of Elmore Leonard and Philip K. Dick to the screen. Mr. Frank is working with uglier, less pleasurable material here: a 1992 novel by Lawrence Block featuring his continuing character Matthew Scudder. It’s a story of good and evil in which men are as tough as nails and women little more than meat. The nail image is a metaphor; the meat less so.

What Love Looks Like, videos 1-6 from See by Touch on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Walden Chapter 2- Moderator -Free Response to Sam Harris- Optimizing our Design

Fingers crossed that this will work:  In addition to finishing the annotated reading of Walden (see post below), I want you to submit your best question or discussion stater on your period's link.

Period 2- Questions/ Topics
Period 3-Question/Topics
Period 7-/8-Question/ Topics

For Friday:
Defend, Challenge, or Qualify Harris claim of the need to "optimize our design."
(1 paragraph minimum)
•Adverbial conjunction
•Evidence (in absence of available logos), use pathos

•Two forms of sentence variety(See sentence spice)

Great cover to a classic Talking Heads song

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Annotation of Walden Chapter 2

Ok- Here is the experiment.  For Thursday I need you to read Chapter 2 from Walden.  In Google Classroom/ Student G-Mail there will be an attachment to a Google Doc of the reading.  Here I want you to read chapter 2 and provide some thoughtful annotation and comments to the text.  As this is an experiment, things could wrong with the distribution of the file but I have a feeling it will work out just fine.
In case I can't get Google Classroom to send it to you, click here to read it and make a copy of it into your own folder to complete the annotation exercise.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Weekend - Writing craft of Krakauer/ Argue

Part I:

From ITW, I want you to pull a few sentences from the book so we can begin to examine the style of Krakauer. Label as Most Profound/ Most Creative/ Most Complex and use the proper citation ("words."(127) )  Please write out the entire sentence.  Provide a brief commentary as to why you picked this passage.

Most profound—A sentence that strikes you as wise, inspiring, or timeless. These are the types of sentences that stick with you and are often quoted long after you’ve finished reading.

Most creative—A sentence that wows you with its cleverness with words and phrases, the magic of its descriptions, the vividness of its imagery, or the fact that you’d never read a sentence quite like that before.

Most complex—The sentence that expresses a whole heck of a lot between the capital letter and the period; the type of sentence that uses lots of fancy punctuation tools (semi-colons, dashes, parentheses) and makes you scratch you sentence to decode its meaning.

Part II:

We need to practice our concision in argument so let's respond to a softball prompt.  Briefly explain your position and attempt to integrate a new sentence structure in your explanation.  
Choose one of the following prompts:  

A)  Is the United States strategy to confront ISIS appropriate?

B)  Has the NFL lost credibility to its fans in its handling of the Ray Rice domestic abuse incident?

C)  Your choice of topic (Apple iPhone 6, school parking, etc.)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

2009 Horace prompt- hints

Revise Sontag Introduction

HW: For Friday-  Tomorrow I will be taking the Global Studies Freshies to Chinatown.  All I ask is for you is to revise your Sontag introduction (for some of you, write it for the first time).


  • Something creative to grip reader (clever quote/ intense imagery) -Remember how IIII doubled the value of quote by citing Godard?  
  • Sentence variety (choose two from Spice handout)- Perhaps attempt a rhetorical question or parallel structure to stretch yourself.  
  • Address the prompt (explicitly- bonus if you can pull off implicit)

Here are the samples we looked at in class.

You Look like Rain...

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Into The Wild- Day one

Q:  How does Krakauer’s chapter grouping build both sympathy and complexity for Chris?

HW: For tomorrow's class, I need you to re-familiarize yourself with the book from a structural perspective. Provide a brief 2-3 sentence summary of what you believe were the major plot points of the chapter. The more that you can comment on the way chapter builds the character of Chris, the more you might be able to uncover Krakauer's strategy. We will assemble these observations tomorrow to map out how such decisions shape the narrative experience for the reader.

Bring ITW to class.


1- The Alaska Interior- In this chapter, the reader witnesses the fateful day Chris walks into the wilderness of Alaska as recalled by truck driver that dropped him off at the entry point. We see his optimism, romanticism, and perhaps a little arrogance. Hook is set for us to understand the circumstances that led to the death of Chris.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Can you argue with this? Take on McGonigal's thesis...

HW:  From her TED talk, Jane McGonigal implored, "Well I hope that you will agree with me that gamers are a human resource that we can use to do real-world work, that games are a powerful platform for change. We have all these amazing superpowers: blissful productivity, the ability to weave a tight social fabric, this feeling of urgent optimism and the desire for epic meaning."  To what extent do you believe that McGonigal's optimistic view of video games can be as successful as she believes? 

  1. 2 paragraph minimum
  2. Pay special attention to topic sentences
  3. Must use original observations/evidence to refute or confirm McGonigal's claim
  4. Please work in sentence variety drawn from the Sentence Spice handout from Friday

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Save the world...play more video games?

Ok...the winner is...

2nd- Mouth agape, the woman stared in horror as the dark malicious creature inched towards her. Clutching her head in sheer terror, the one could only hope that the dark specter was just another figment of her deluded mind. As the creature dragged her down into the abyss, she grabbed the wall in what would be her last attempt at seizing reality before the shadows of her mind drove her insane. Rahul P

Glazed over eyes, her mouth slightly open and her breath short, she gazes into the camera with pure horror. She melts down into the pavement with pain, her knees too weak to support the mental baggage she carries. With one last attempt she grasps for the wall with her fragile hand, but as if the wall pushes back, she crumbles back to the ground in sorrow. -Victoria S

Her quivering face and trembling eyes looking for a quick escape yet failing. Spastically falling to the floor she sends her hand up for a last chance of survival but fails. Once down with certainty her hand inches hopelessly for what is impossible.- Amanda D


Each heavy exhale of air was the rush of panic, clawing the cold, shadowy, dark cement hoping it would all end soon. Each moment ahead was perceived with wide eyes, and the creeping possibility of death.-Belle P

Helplessly melting into the corner of the darkness. Her brain aimed at discontinuing her every thought only to take over the emotions and transform them. Fearing something so intense that her last move is to slowly faint down towards the ground with one arm hopelessly reaching out to the wall to give one last chance to overcome the fear but failing.  -Marcus M

HW pass on Monday.  

Let's describe this cooky vignette from the 14 Actors Acting.  Let's practice the participial phrase again this week.

Remember to be logged in with your google student account before you submit if you are doing this from home.  Using Chrome will make it easier.


Write a rhetorical analysis of two techniques Jane McGonigal uses during her Ted talk.  I want you to move away from blanket statements of rhetoric like, "McGonigal delivers plenty of logos to persuade her audience."  It is more concise to use expressions similar to the following:

  • For ethos= McGonigal established her authority by repeatedly...
  • For pathos= McGonigal appealed to the audience's sense of...
  • For logos= such data reinforces the belief that...
Handy outline for writing RA-
A) Establish audience
B) Explain what speaker/writer must do to reach audience
C)Reveal evidence
D) Discuss the intended/likely effect of technique

Minimum two paragraphs
Direct evidence- Transcript here
Must connect efficacy of evidence to intended effect on this audience.
Link to class notes.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Lawrence Vote

Time to vote!  I posted the entries as they were submitted with no edits.  If the writer fails to use the participial phrase, can't capitalize, or follow basic grammar, you don't vote for them.
Period 2                    Period 3                  Period 7/8

Speaking of Clickbait...Why you should click responsibly...

Over three out of five Americans think we have a major incivility problem in our country right now, but I'm going to guess that at least three out of five Americans are clicking on the same insult-oriented,rumor-mongering trash that feeds the nastiest impulses in our society. In an increasingly noisy media landscape, the incentive is to make more noise to be heard, and that tyranny of the loud encourages the tyranny of the nasty.

Rhetorical Situation- Movie Night Disaster

  • Audience: 1st date or group of friends
  • Problem:  They want to see a movie that will induce cringes for 2 full hours. (Rom-com, Slasher, etc,).  You also do not to lose face/ good will with either target.  
  • Details: 7:05 Show Time, Friday-Opening night for either movie.  
Dialogue to convince them to see the "other" movie.  Again, Don't lie...be persuasive.
Eek!  Creepy dolls!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Rhetorical Situation- Ticket

  • Sunday in October
  • Your Illinois licence plates on a Camry (sedan)
  • Pulled over in central Wisconsin
  • 62 mph in a 55 limit
  • Expired Licence registration sticker
  • Male Officer
  • Your current age 
Based upon our ideas in class, how are you going to convince the officer to let you off with a warning?  Create the dialogue that will firmly wedge a doubt in his mind about this ticket. Stay within the conventional bounds of truth (no dying grandparents, goldfish in coma, etc..)
Target: 1-2 Paragraphs.